The quilt is gone from the window.
Creston News Advertiser’s Rose Henry retires today after 14 years as office manager and human resources representative. Those who enter the CNA office will immediately notice the blank window of Henry’s office where for many years a rotating display of quilts has hung.
Like the quilt, Henry’s absence will be conspicuous. Sandy Allison, publication coordinator, said she will miss “Sassy pants.”
In an echo of Henry’s understated humor, Allison said, “I don’t know if you know this, but she’s pretty sassy.”
Tresa Blazek, circulation clerk, agreed that Henry’s sense of humor will be missed and added that her knowledge of the job has been valuable to the staff.
Henry has been training her replacement, Mary Jo Borcherding, for some time to try and pass on that knowledge.
“I’ve learned a lot from her and will really miss her expertise,” Borcherding said. “But she’s only a phone call away.”
“As I entered the role of managing editor, there were many aspects of the position I was wildly unprepared for,” Sarah Scull said. “This position isn’t just about sourcing content and writing the news – it’s about relationships. As an HR manager, Rose has served as my advisor when I don’t quite know how to approach difficulties or conflict within my department or with the public.”
Members of the staff will miss Henry as more than a coworker. Teresa Pendegraft, advertising representative, spoke fondly of the quilts Henry has made and shared with her family.
“Rose has been a wonderful co-worker and a friend to my family,” she said.
“She’s more than our HR and accounting manager –áI consider her one of my closest friends,” Scull said. “For years, she has been a shoulder for me to cry on, an open ear, personal cheerleader and a mentor. Her best advice: ‘Just breathe.’”
Henry originally worked at the CNA when she was a senior in high school. She said her cousin worked her on the addressograph machine and dragged her in for an interview. Henry continued to do this work for a year and a half before leaving due to the time pressures of college.
Henry, herself, said she is ready for retirement, noting that she has reached retirement age and wants a chance to spend more time with her husband Kevin and their 23 grandchildren.
“We have three graduating this year — one in North Carolina, one in Greenfield and one in Leon,” Henry said.
Henry plans to travel out to the North Carolina graduation, but she and her husband will have to split attendance at the local graduations as they are on the same day. She’s hoping to be able to attend both graduation parties.
“I think it’s more important to make the parties than to sit in the gym,” she said.
Keeping up with the activities of this many grandchildren will be a challenge even in retirement. Henry said she has already started working on next year’s Christmas presents for them all.
When asked why she started so early, she replied, “There’s 23 of them, come on.”
In addition to attending more of her grandchildren’s activities, Henry is looking forward to having more time for her hobbies.
“I’m probably going to sew,” Henry said. “I’ve recently gotten into crocheting.”
At the CNA
Over the years, Henry’s job at the CNA has grown as coworkers moved on to other jobs or retired and were not replaced.
“At the time I was hired, I had four people under me, now I have one, so I don’t know if I chased them all away or not,” Henry said with her characteristic dry humor.
Henry said she enjoyed her job.
“I just liked working with numbers and working with people,” she said.
Visiting with others — “human interaction” — will be what she misses most, Henry said.
“My husband’s a pretty quiet guy,” she said. “I’ve already had to have coversations with him about, ‘you’re going to have to talk to me.’”
She’ll be missed
Henry’s co-workers repeated the same sentiment when asked about her departure.
“She will be greatly missed,” Blazek said.
“I hope she enjoys the time for quilting and doing more with her family,” Borcherding said.